Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clutter and distraction

I admit-I'm addicted to distraction. I struggle with it all the time. If it's listening to books on tape while cleaning, watching TV while eating, running back and forth to the computer all day long, having a never ending to-do list that I constantly think about and try and accomplish at the expense of more important things, I am constantly, almost never ending focused on other things and not in the present. Most days I get to 4pm and I realize I haven't been present for even a few minutes. It makes me sad and makes me feel like I am treading water all day long. Certainly not how God wants me to live...constantly avoiding true living.

I've been thinking about living in the moment the past few weeks. I've had some success with it too. I've been able to choose playing with Anne over watching TV or doing the dishes. I've had times when the kids are literally crawling all over me and I've been able to soak it in 100%. As I've had more successes with this, it is something I want to keep up and be able to do more-to be more present in certain situations, to be able to focus on what is going on and what really matters and block out and avoid the things that are just distractions.

Today I was thinking even more concretely about it-in fact, I spent about 2 hours doing nothing but thinking on it...primarily because today is is the is God's Holy Day...and all day today this verse has been running through my head: "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." Exodus 20:8. So I've been thinking about what does that really mean and more specifically what does it mean to me? My entire Christian life, I've viewed that commandment as an impossible. I cannot spend an entire day-12-16 hours going to church, reading my Bible, basically abandoning life altogether and focusing on God. It is just something that is impossible. Today I thought about it a different way, in a way that makes me excited to keep the Sabbath.

First I think that the day is specific. Whether you choose to keep the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, it is that day, and that day alone. There are many instances in the Bible where God has specified something be Holy, not just anything we want. When God told Moses he was standing on Holy ground, it wasn't any piece of ground Moses choose that would change at random. It was that specific spot by the bush. So too is it with the Sabbath. It isn't a day that changes week to week depending on our schedule. It is the same day every week, every month, every year that does not change regardless of what we are doing. Secondly we are to treat the Sabbath differently. We aren't simply to go on with our lives as normal-washing dishes, keeping house, cooking, playing with our children, watching TV, etc, like it was any other day. Thirdly, the way to treat it differently is by having it set apart for God. To me, this means that I can wash the dishes, but I need to do it with purpose, for God. For me, that probably means doing it in silence, without listening to music or watching TV. That way I am available to hear from God if need be or available to memorize Scripture, think on the sermon that morning, pray or even praise Him. I can play with my children and take them to the park but, again, I need to do it with purpose. I need to do it specifically with the intent of having a better relationship with them and teaching them about our faith. In addition to being available and doing things with intent, I think there are things I can do purposefully to make the Sabbath more meaningful. Again, for me, this means doing more things in silence. It means going to church and small group. It means journaling, taking the dog for a walk, and reading Christian works or the Bible.

I am so excited to start living this out. I am excited to set aside time each Sunday to journal or walk the dog or purposefully interact with others in my life in a way that is honoring to God. I am more grateful, however, that God has worked in me to bring me to this point. For without Him changing me, I would without a doubt be laying on the couch watching TV right now...

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